Thursday, August 30, 2007


The News: Benfica have been drawn in group D with AC Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic for the upcoming Champions League season.

Of Note: Adu has yet to see action with Benfica since earning his debut in the first leg of their CL qualifier against Copenhagen. As for the draw, here’s a quick break down of who they’ll be facing in Group D:

AC Milan – Can never really enjoy seeing the defending champs in your group, but Benfica is no stranger to AC Milan in CL play, as the two clubs have met twice before in the final. One thing to keep in mind: Milan have Ronaldo (yep, the Ronaldo) available for European competition this year – last year he was cup tied.

Shakhtar Donetsk – The current leaders of the Ukrainian League, most fans here are probably unfamiliar with this team known as The Miners. However, they’ve been appearing in the CL with some regularity in recent years and are consistently at the top of their domestic league. Oh, and yes, this is the club that Mexican international Nery Castillo moved earlier this year (check out this completely ludicrous orange facemask he’s been donning).

Celtic – If many people are unfamiliar with Shakhtar here in the States, than surely the opposite is true for Benfica’s final group opponent. The two clubs met in the competition last year, with Celtic winning once 3-0, and Benfica returning the favor on their home ground by the exact same scoreline.

Up Next: The group stage starts later this month and consists of two games, home and away, against each opponent. The top two advance to the knockout stage of the CL, while the 3rd place team in the group gains automatic entry to the advanced stages of the UEFA Cup. That competition concludes its qualifying tonight, and with numerous Americans in action tonight, we’ll surely catch you up on some of the action in the near future.

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